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Hometamil-nadu10 TN fishermen arrested in British overseas territorial waters handed over to...

10 TN fishermen arrested in British overseas territorial waters handed over to Indian Coast Guard

Thiruvananthapuram : Around 10 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were arrested earlier this month from near the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in the Indian Ocean, and tried and fined 60,000 Pounds Sterling, were on Sunday handed over to the Indian Coast Guard.

The fishermen had ventured into fishing areas in the deep sea, around 230 nautical miles near the BIOT — an archipelago of 58 islands covering some 640,000 sq km of ocean, a defence statement said.

The area is a British Overseas Territory, located approximately halfway between East Africa and Indonesia, and administered from London, the statement said.

The fishermen were arrested on December 6, tried at BIOT and fined 60,000 Pounds Sterling, it said and added that information regarding the same was communicated to the Indian Ocean Directorate of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on December 14.

The fishermen’s boat has been seized as the fine was not paid and the 10 crew were released, it said.

The fishermen have 30 days from December 12 till January 11, 2024 to pay the fine, the statement said.

They were brought off Vizhinjam on BIOT patrol vessel ‘Grampien Endurance’ and were handed over at sea to Indian Coast Guard ships ‘Arnavesh’ and ‘C 427’, the statement said.

The fishermen are expected to arrive at Vizhinjam around 10 am where they will be medically examined and interrogated by agencies concerned.

Subsequently, they will be handed over to the Fisheries Department for safe passage to Tamil Nadu, the statement added.

In a similar incident, around 35 fishermen who were arrested in September for attempting to fish near the BIOT area were released to the Indian Coast Guard on November 20.

(Published 17 December 2023, 07:48 IST)

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